Doublé, battement divisé en quarts


wood, chipboard, four elements, each 90 x 220 cm


Through motion, especially classical motion with its positions, angles, and symmetries, and through the relation of the moving body to other bodies and space, we sense the presence of “intuitive body geometry”. The body in motion outlines (geometric) shapes and compositions, which at the same time delimit the body itself. This Forsythean idea of dance as depicting geometry in space resonates in the second part of the installation, which Boris Beja titles after another ballet exercise—Doublé, battement divisé en quarts. The screens with recognisable Mondrianian coloured squares delimited by straight lines, appear on the one hand as a reference to modernist structural elements, which can be found in the artist’s practice in various roles as supports and partitions, and on the other as parts of the scenery that with their strictly mathematical appearance introduce the element of theatricality and dramaturgy into the setting. They illustrate the relationship between movement and space, between dance and architecture. (Doublé, battement divisé en quarts, 2020, installation [wood, chipboard, glass, paper], 220 x 90 x 50 cm)

What Beja has “frozen” in his latest project is the motion image. What he has pursued  is perfection. Ballet is a symbol of perfection and perfection (according to Nureyev) is the duty. Or as Beja dramatically writes: “Perfection is the charm of ballet. And the thought that movement is controlled up to the sensation of pain in every muscle of the body, which is stretched like a string, while creating the impression of lightness as if hovering in space following imaginary coordinates of a feather in vacuum.” The still images created and masterfully handled by the artist reveal that it is the syntax of the language that interests him and dictates the form. The language or the way one speaks that language and with it approaches the ideal, is the artist’s prime concern.

The second reflection is related to the transformation of art since the second half of the 20th century towards the uniform tendency of performativity of artistic actions, where the boundary between art and life is blurred. It is about the awareness “that the production of our subjectivities takes place precisely in the performativity of everyday cultural and institutional practices. That we are, so to speak, mass-produced through the daily implementation of scenarios which we include in our unconscious modus operandi as a kind of second nature” (Eda Čufer, Writing Movement, 2010) (Text: Simona Vidmar, curator at UGM)